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POSCO E&C uses waste plastic and steel slag to develop recyclable, efficient mold

By Lim Chang-won Posted : August 2, 2022, 15:00 Updated : August 2, 2022, 15:00

[Courtesy of POSCO E&C]

SEOUL -- POSCO Engineering & Construction, a construction arm of South Korea's top steelmaker POSCO, has developed a recyclable eco-friendly concrete mold using waste plastic and steel slag. It is thinner, lighter and more durable, and more efficient than conventional wood plywood molds. 

POSCO E&C said it has worked with Iomtek, an in-house venture that manufactures products with better quality and higher environmental value beyond recycling wasted resources. Iomtek created a new plate in the form of sheet material by fusing molten waste plastic with slag powder.

Powder slag was fused with polypropylene to increase elasticity and compensate for the shortcomings of easy deformation. Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer used in a wide variety of applications due to its tough and flexible properties and good resistance to fatigue.

POSCO E&C said it has confirmed the excellent performance of its new mold by piloting it at a highway construction site. Work safety can be improved when installed and transported. The durability is more than twice as good as wood plywood molds, and production costs are about eight percent cheaper.

Since the surface is smooth and can be easily removed from concrete, there is no need to use a peeling agent that causes soil pollution, the builder said. "We hope that the mold which is more economical and eco-friendly than existing ones will be widely used in the construction industry," an unnamed POSCO E&C official said in a statement on August 2. 

The builder will establish a mass production system and increase the marketability of its new mold with its frame applied with POSCO's premium corrosion-resistant steel material PosMAC. In late 2020, POSCO E&C joined hands with S-Oil, a petroleum and refinery company, and two other domestic companies to commercialize high-performance concrete using steel and oil byproducts.

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